Ping pong, also known as table tennis, is undeniably one of the most entertaining sports to play.
Whether you are a professional player or a casual one, this game has enough fun and amusement for everyone.
However, we all have a competitive nature, and this, even in casual games, makes us want to win each match. As a result, we try to learn as much as possible and practice to enhance our skills.
The problem is, however, most of the beginners are not aware of the fact that equipment plays a major role in gameplay, and thus, should be chosen wisely.
A player who is fast-paced and aggressive needs to have a different paddle than a defensive player’s one.
Similarly, a person who likes to have a firm grip on his paddle will have a hard time using a paddle made for loose grips.
So, in this post, we will discuss the ins and outs of a ping pong paddle and how to choose one according to your play style.
Basics Components of a Paddle
Typically, a ping pong paddle consists of 4 components. These are:
- A blade: This is the core part of the paddle.
- A handle: It helps in gripping the paddle
- The front and back sponges: They absorb the energy of your opponent’s shots and help in deflection.
- The front and back rubber: They provide elasticity to your shots and also help in the deflection.
Now that we have a basic idea of a paddle, let’s discuss how each of these components can affect your paddle choice.
The blade is the core part of your paddle. The material used in its composition determines the power generation for each shot.
A blade can consist entirely of wood, or a mixture of wood with other materials, such as carbon.
These are better for a defensive player.
They are heavier in size, generate more power, and help you counter the aggressive shots of your opponent.
They slow down the ball and help you generate a better spin.
In contrast to the all-wood paddles, these rackets are a better choice for fast-paced players.
Being lighter in size, they give the player an advantage of fast hand movements. As a result, the person can take faster shots than his opponents.
The sponge lies between the blade and the rubber.
There are three kinds of sponges available: thin, medium, and thick.
Attacking players like to use thicker sponges as they provide more bounce and better speed.
Similarly, defensive players like to use thinner sponges for better control.
The ball comes in contact with this part of the paddle.
This section depends on your preference; it can be natural rubber or synthetic, and thick or thin.
Generally, the softer rubber produces more spin, and the harder one gives better speed.
However, keep in mind that the Internation Table Tennis Federation only allows a multicolor paddle in official matches. So, for example, if one side of your paddle is red, the other should be of a different color.
Also, there are two types of rubber coverings available: the pimpled rubber covering and the sandwich rubber covering.
In this type, there is an evenly distributed “pimple” like surface on the outer side of the rubber.
This gives your shots a better spin and precision.
In this type of rubber, the pimples are present on the inner side of the rubber.
It gives the ball a better bounce.
The Grip and the Handle
If you want to play at your best during a game, it is essential to choose a comfortable grip and handle.
The commonly known grips include the pen-hold grip and the straight-hand grip.
The pen-hold grip provides you with better spin and control while the straight-hand is beginner friendly and also produces more power
The other commonly known type of handles include;
It allows the player to generate more spin, but on the contrary, it also makes it hard to do backhand shots.
These handles provide a better forehand play. These are usually a better choice for novice players.
The anatomical handles provide better comfort. However, they are not easy to find.
Finally, the straight handles provide a better backhand play. Also, this type of handle is better for a versatile player who likes to switch his grips more often.
The downside of the straight handles is that the beginners may have a hard time gripping the paddle.
Ready-Made or Custom Made?
As mentioned before, a fastpaced attacking player should prefer a lighter blade, thicker sponge, harder rubber, and a short or long handle depending upon his grip.
In contrast, a defensive player can go for a wooden blade, thinner sponge, softer rubber, and a short or long handle depending upon his grip.
Just keep in mind these basics of choosing a paddle and you won’t go wrong with both the choices.
However, as a beginner, you should stick with ready-made paddles for a while, until you have a good awareness of your playstyle.
All in all, ping pong is a game of great pleasure and competence. It keeps you active, clears your mind, and helps you in bonding with your family and friends.
Moreover, it teaches you that winning comes with investment.
While most of this investment is in your hard work and dedication to the game, some of it lies in the equipment you choose for it.
In the long run, investing in a good quality paddle helps you win more games while providing you with better comfort.
A good quality paddle will make you feel as if it is a part of your body.
So, are you ready to buy your weapon of victory?! If so, then click here to read our reviews on the top ping pong paddles available and choose the one you need.